The Bellevue School District is committed to ensuring a safe and productive learning environment in which all students are provided every opportunity to learn, as pursuant to district Procedure 3207P. To address recent student concerns, each comprehensive BSD high school has taken direct steps over the past few months. In addition, district administration has extensively partnered with students and families to better understand how to inform and support our community.
Building Administrators Partner with Students
Building leaders at Interlake High School recently approved an advanced health course, previously only available at Newport High School, as a course choice for the 2022-23 school year at Interlake. The AIDS Student Peer Educators at Newport (ASPEN) class gives students the opportunity to learn AIDS education and teach at various local schools. Through the course, students educate their peers on issues related to sexual health, including but not limited to consent. The administration and students have met numerous times to discuss issues raised through student assembly (Freedom to Assemble, per Policy No. 3223) and incorporated student voice in creating a school-wide lesson on consent.
At Sammamish High School, building leaders have focused on capturing and responding to student voice. They seek to involve students in decision making and respond to student concerns regarding their experiences as learners. To date, building leadership has met with students through clubs and groups such as the Asian and Pacific Islander group, the Black Student Union, Latino H.E.A.T., the Gay Straight Alliance, and students receiving services through the Multi-Lingual Learner program. The building’s leadership team has been instrumental in seeking the student voice and making adjustments, as warranted.
The most pressing issue that surfaced out of these conversations at Sammamish was the need for more gender-neutral bathroom choices for students. Administration responded by making options available on all three floors of Sammamish, plus a second option on the first floor near the performing arts center for use during community events. These adjustments required changing locks, adding new signage and re-educating students.
At Newport High School, administrators have identified themes from written correspondence, and have started to hold frequent community conversations with students and staff to prioritize problem solving. They intend to revisit these conversations through the course of the year and continuously evaluate solutions by partnering with student leadership.
The Newport town halls focus on reviewing and improving processes to increase a sense of safety when making a HIB report, confidence that schools will review each HIB-related concern, and increasing student voice in decision-making. The town hall format encourages school-wide student participation, together with teachers, counselors and building administrators, and offers participants opportunities to reflect, deepen their understanding, question the status quo, and allow small groups to engage in dialogue and problem solving.
At Bellevue High School, building leaders are working collaboratively with student leaders to facilitate greater transparency in responding to sexual assault allegations and to support potential victims. Student leaders are consulting with King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KSARC) to propose additions to the district’s Health curriculum.
Community, Family and Schools Partner for Students
District families, in collaboration with their school PTSAs and community partners, have provided information and resources for all members of our learning community.
The Newport High PTSA recently held a Parent Education session which included a panel of district staff and local law enforcement. Together, they helped families understand the process for reporting cases of harassment, intimidation, and bullying. Families were encouraged to send in questions and learn alongside their students. The recording from this informative session is available for all families, linked below.
Family and Student Resources